Tec 4 Harold F. Madison
| Tec. 4 Harold F. Madison was the
son of Ruel & Anna Madison. He was born
in South Dakota on August 14, 1914, but he grew up
in Monona, Iowa, with his two brothers and three
sisters. He attended a parochial grade
school and went to high school in Luana. In
1937, his family moved to Milton Junction,
In November of 1940, Harold and his brother Ralph joined the Wisconsin National Guard's 33rd Tank Company in Janesville. His reason for doing this is that the draft act had passed and he wanted to fulfill his military obligation. He also was aware that the tank company had been federalized and was to train in Kentucky for a year.
At Fort Knox, Kentucky, Harold was trained as a
tank radio operator. It was his job to
keep in touch with company headquarters.
Next, he took part in maneuvers in Louisiana in
the early fall of 1941. After these
maneuvers, he learned that the 192nd Tank
Battalion had been selected for duty overseas.
The morning of December 8, 1941, Capt. Walter
Write informed his company that Pearl Harbor had
been bombed by the Japanese. The tanks
were put on alert and took their positions
around the airfield. At 8:30 A.M.,
American took off to intercept any Japanese
planes. Sometime before
noon, the alert was canceled and the planes
landed and were lined up near the mess
hall. Their pilots went to lunch.
The tankers were eating lunch when planes were seen approaching the airfield from the north at about 12:45. Many of the tankers counted 54 planes. The planes approached the airfield and watched hat was described as "raindrops" falling from the planes.
Elmer lived through the bombing of Clark
Field. During the attack, he and the other
tankers could do little since their guns were
not made to use against planes.
A Company was sent, in support of the 194th, to
an area east of Pampanga. It was there
that they lost a tank platoon commander, Lt.
William Reed. The company returned to the
192nd on January 8, 1942.
At 6:45 the morning of April 9, 1942, Harold learned that he and that other defenders of Bataan were to be surrendered to the Japanese. After the company destroyed their tanks, they became Prisoners Of War. With the other members of A Company, he walked to Mariveles where he began the "Death March."
As a POW, Harold was first held at Camp
O'Donnell and next at Cabanatuan Camp #1.
He was sent out on the bridge building detail to
rebuild the same bridges the retreating Filipino
and American forces destroyed as they withdrew
into Bataan. While on the detail he became
ill and was sent to Cabanatuan.
It should be noted that the National Archives records of Americans who died during the World War II has Tec 4 Harold F. Madison as a second lieutenant.